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Work-life balance - Empower workers through device diversity


Posted on: October 12, 2018 by Mike Harm

When I am asked to define work-life balance, I often explain that, to me, it means being able to work dynamically when and where you want. As a digital native/nerd-at-large, I’m usually on a device anyway. Being able to have access to my work resources on all of my devices just gives me the freedom to be more productive!

The best workplaces allow digital natives to have work experiences and personal experiences on a single platform on a single device.

Call me crazy; fewer is better

I hate duplication. Take for example the company phone. For many, it’s a locked down, limited experience, and it’s difficult (sometimes against policy) to do anything of a personal nature with it. Many of my colleagues stubbornly refuse to let work invade their private lives, so they carry two phones around. Not me! I’m more than happy to check work email and access work files on my personal phone, which I prefer to the ones the company provides anyway. One less thing to carry around, and one less thing to drive up my cost-to-be-supported. Meanwhile, for others, the company is paying for a mostly unused phone, voice and data plan while the users pay for their own phone, voice and data plans.

This isn’t an uncommon scenario. It works for many, but the waste drives me crazy. Managing multiple devices is one thing. Managing multiple phone numbers and calling identities on separate devices would be maddening.

UEM and digital boundaries

Enter unified endpoint management (UEM) as the answer. With UEM, enrolment processes on desktops, tablets and smartphones separate work data from personal data. It allows me to launch Outlook, for example, for corporate email and scheduling stuff, but it’s totally separated from personal email on my iOS. I can’t cross the streams of personal and business data, but I can do business and personal work on one device. The convenience of having these multiple roles on the same device is priceless.

Testing the limits of UEM

I, of course, exacerbate the situation as our workplace CTO. I make it a point to have PCs and mobile devices from every major ecosystem. While that’s a public admission of a serious device collection problem, they all have their strengths and purposes. Thanks to our own implementation of UEM within Atos, which is 100% based on our UEM services as delivered to clients, I have a full working experience, including all of my apps and content, on all of them.

I can choose my workstyle based on the device I want to use each day, or for each daily commute/travel scenario, and I can enroll multiple devices of the same type. Though some of these devices are personally owned, I’m still managed, encrypted and password-compliant consistently. The company’s information protection policies prevent company data from mingling with personal data. Conditional access and multi-factor authentication rules keep my corporate data in the cloud from being accessible from any non-managed devices. But none of this disrupts any of my tasks. It only seeks to protect the corporate data without encroaching on my use of that data.

It’s just too bad that the unified part of UEM ends there. Why stop with productivity? My next post will explain why enterprises need to challenge traditional workplace IT models. It’s not just for the bottom line but also for worker health.

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About Mike Harm
Chief Technology Officer – Workplace and member of the Scientific Community
Mike Harm is the Chief Technology Officer for the Workplace domain at Atos and has spent over 20 years providing, designing, implementing and envisioning differentiated workplace services in partnership with clients worldwide. With a background that spans support services, process engineering, IT Service Management, systems engineering and innovation product management, he is passionately connected to the technological, behavioral, and procedural pulse of the user experience from end-to-end. He is a member of the Atos Scientific Community where he explores the impact of digitization on the human experience, the future of work, and new concepts of productivity and employment emerging from digital trends. In his role at Atos, he is responsible for technology partnerships, supplier strategic relationships, overall workplace vision and strategy as well as delivery technology policy in the workplace domain and adherence enforcement to those policies throughout service and product development lifecycle.

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